Employer brand. To our team of experts, employer brand is more than just a talent acquisition or human resources project or initiative. It’s how an employer (just like yours) messages, markets, and brings to life its full employment experience, both externally to candidates and internally to employees.
Employer brand is a holistic strategy. (<-- Click to tweet this!)
When purposefully developed, it can be pulled across the entire employment lifecycle from the time an individual first becomes aware of your organization as an employer to application to hire to onboarding to the employee experience. The employer brand, can, in fact, be embedded all the way through to departure, and encourage employees to become an alum or even a boomerang hire.
Recruitment marketing then becomes a subset of the employer brand. Its primary focus? Talent attraction and acquisition. And we believe that before you can strategically and effectively market your organization to attract talent, you have to first understand:
Who are you as an employer?
What do you stand for?
What differentiates your organization?
What is your reputation?
This sort of understanding doesn’t just trickle down from the corner office or the boardroom. It comes from unbiased research and well-developed questions. It comes from listening to what’s inside the hearts and minds of your employees. Not all employees whoever worked anywhere. Not the employees who work at Google, Facebook, or Apple. Your employees. And not just your six-figure directors and above. This understanding comes from open, safe conversations with people working at all levels of your organization, especially those working on your front lines.
As someone who recently wrapped up an extensive research phase and 10+ focus groups for a client, I can tell you first-hand -- this understanding is fascinating and powerful.
Once you’ve done the research on who you truly are and what makes you different, you can stop sounding like everyone else. You can leave the vanilla messaging (“we’re hiring,” “join our team,” “apply now,”) behind and start selling who you really are. This may continue to attract some individuals. It may repel others. And that’s OK.
The goal is to build your authentic employer brand foundation. This foundation -- or employer brand architecture -- then informs your communications and messaging which then connect to your recruitment marketing.
Your employer brand doesn’t need to attract everyone. The ultimate outcome is to have a better understanding of your employees, so you can, in turn, attract the type of people who will thrive in your organization’s unique culture. (<--Click to tweet this!)
If you liked this post, you should check out this one: 4 ways to make your employer brand magnetic.
Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is an Engagement Director and Principal Employer Brand Strategist for exaqueo, an employer brand experience firm building employer brands and the talent strategies that drive them through research, consulting, and creative execution. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruiting strategy offerings.